SEC urges public to deal only with authorized investment companies
(The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has advised the public anew to entrust their hard-earned money only to companies duly licensed to offer investments.

The corporate watchdog said in its website (www.sec.gov.ph), visitors automatically view a splash page outlining red flags that investors should avoid, as well as the typical indicators of a scam. The contact details of the SEC and the Capital Markets Participants Registry System (CMPRS) are likewise included, as well as links that list all the registered companies in the Philippines. These companies are organized by category, namely those that are permitted to sell mutual funds, equities and debt instruments.

The offering or sale of securities to the public without a permit or license from the SEC is a violation of Section 8.1 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC). Moreover, those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of these unregistered investment entities (including solicitations done through the internet) may likewise be prosecuted and held criminally liable, with a maximum penalty of 21 years in prison.

The SEC renewed its warning as this practice once again came to light when one of the heirs of the late National Artist Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa allegedly enticed at least one investor through guaranteed returns involving a non-existent development.

After initial verbal discussions, Francisco “Dino” Mañosa reportedly sent businesswoman Marisol Ramirez an investment term sheet outlining the latter’s investment in Mañosa Properties Inc., and its upcoming project called Anahaw Park located in Alabang Hills, Muntinlupa. According to the terms of the investment sheet, Ramirez was promised a return of eight percent per annum, or the option to buy two houses in the project at a 15 percent discount after two years.

Mañosa Properties is not registered with the SEC as a company that can offer investments to the public.

Months before the investment reached its maturation date, Ramirez informed Mañosa that she was exercising the eight percent per annum return option. When Mañosa was unable to pay, Ramirez investigated further, and discovered that no such Anahaw Park project existed in Alabang Hills.

Although the SEC has yet to receive a formal complaint against Mañosa Properties, Ramirez has already filed separate cases against Dino Mañosa Jr. and his siblings Denise Mañosa, Angela Milagros Mañosa, Miguel Angelo Mañosa, and Ma. Isabel Mañosa Tanjutco.

FRANCISCO “DINO” MAñOSA SEC
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